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‘Development Finance’ in Andhra Pradesh: Implications for ‘People’s Movements, Livelihoods and Environment’

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‘Development Finance’ in Andhra Pradesh: Implications for ‘People’s Movements, Livelihoods and Environment’ 

 June 9, 2018, | Social Service Centre, Gunadala, Vijayawada

Dear friends,

Andhra Pradesh has always had the distinction of being one of the most sought-after destinations by big investors from across the world as well as from international financial institutions like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Monetary Fund etc. that have closely determined the policy roadmaps of the state as well as ‘structural adjustments’, leading to withdrawal of state from essential services and tremendous opening up of markets for private capital. Post-bifurcation as well, the state continues to seek and attract huge global investments across sectors, especially in mega infrastructure, energy-intensive projects and of course, for the mammoth capital city Amaravati.

At the international level, the last decade has also seen the emergence of newer, in particular, regional players like the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which have joined the bandwagon of credit-lending institutions, extending long-term loans to states in various sectors, while continuing the pattern of ignoring and even violating environmental-social safeguards, financial non-viability, economic burden on citizenry-at-large, lacking transparent public disclosure and accountability/complaint handling mechanisms regarding their loans and investments. In fact, unlike World Bank and ADB who at least claim their development agenda in the name of reduction in poverty and inequality, newer institutions like AIIB do not even conceal their huge interests in infrastructure financing.

As on date, India is the biggest recipient from AIIB with more than 1.2 billion USD supporting about six projects including Transmission lines, Capital City Development at Amravati, rural roads etc., with another 1 billion USD in proposed projects. As per information in the public domain, AIIB has already approved a 13,000 crore loan to the Govt. of AP for five projects which includes two for roads and buildings department, one each for rural safe drinking water department, municipal and urban development department and Panchayat Raj department, although further details are not easily available. The Amaravati Capital City Project and Andhra Pradesh 24×7 – Power For All project being co-financed with World Bank; leaves AIIB absolved of any obligations, as the policies, due diligence applicable are the responsibility of the lead financer and there is no clarity on the role and liability of AIIB.

Across the country today, we are witnessing that international capital for power and urban projects, dams, roads, industrial zones/corridors, ports, smart cities and other mega projects, including the new super-expensive high-speed rail projects have become markers of development. This aggressive growth, with the economic elite and upper classes as a priority at the behest of funders and investors, comes at the cost of devastating the environment and displacing lakhs of people who are dependent on land and natural resources for their livelihoods. It is in line with the commitments made to international investors that domestic laws protecting the farmers, fisher people, workers, Adivasis, Dalits are being changed, one by one, be it in the form of diluted environmental regulations, labour laws, forest policy, ‘land pooling’ or the latest Presidential assent to Bill passed by the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, weakening the provisions of the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Act, 2013, especially with regard to social impact assessment & public purpose

Farmers affected by the land pooling scheme in the new capital also raised questions on the AIIB and World Bank co-funded project and had to take up their grievances with the complaint mechanism of World Bank, the co-financier of the project, in the absence of compliance mechanisms and policies of AIIB. We are witness to how the Report by the World Bank Inspection panel pointing major socio-environmental gaps and violations with regard to Amaravati was quickly withdrawn by the Bank and how the Chief Minister has gone on record threatening complainants with legal action, for using what are in fact lawfully available means of grievance redressal. Farmers, workers, Dalits in Amaravati, particularly those cultivating lands for their livelihood have been resisting attempts of the state government to displace and evict them by coercion or deception for years now and with the amended LARR Act, 2013 the state government is all set to launch a further attack on people’s right to land and livelihood, both in Amaravati and across the state.

It is in this context that we think it is important for people’s groups and community activists in the stateto understand further the various dimensionsof ‘Development Finance’, how they impact policies and laws at different levels, the particular context of Andhra Pradesh with regard to mega infrastructure and energy projects, comprehending how global financial institutions (both established ones like WB or newer ones like AIIB) function and how, as citizens action groups, we can effectively strengthen our local struggles to strategize, campaign and demand transparency and accountability from international lenders in India. This meet also assumes significance in the backdrop of the Peoples’ Convention on Infrastructure Financing to be held at Mumbai from June 2123, 2018, planned as a parallel event to the AIIB AGM going to be held on June 24-25, 2018.  

We look forward to your active participation in this meeting.  

With regards,

NAPM – Andhra Pradesh [Contact Ph: 9948084888, 8317686135, 8309896541,7337478993]

 

Tentative Agenda

Sl. No. Theme Discussants / Facilitators Time
 

Introduction and Context

Ramakrishna Raju & Gutta Rohith 10:00 am – 10:30 pm

2.

Overview of Development Finance and Need for People’s Groups and Communities to understand its various dimensions                                           (including how National and international financial institutions affect public policy )  

Soumya Dutta & Kiran Vissa

 

10:30 am – 11:30 pm

3.

A Glimpse at international capital and infrastructure investments in Andhra:                     Issues and Impacts

The Amaravati Capital City project Experience: Role of AIIB and World Bank

Massive Thermal & Nuclear energy push by Telangana & AP – Role of the IFIs

Prof. C Ramachandraiah

 

Sheshagiri Rao & Anumolu Gandhi

Dr.EAS Sarma, Soumya Dutta

11:30 am – 12:00 pm

 

12:00 Pm – 12:30 pm

12:30 Pm –  1:00 pm

4.

Lunch 1:00 pm –              2:00 pm

5.

Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): Genesis, Projects in AP, Prospects, Upcoming AIIB Governor’s AGM & People’s Convention on Infrastructure Financing, Mumbai (21st-23rdJune)  

Tani Alex

 

2:00 pm –             3:00 pm

6.

Legal Remedies, Complaint and                                 Accountability Mechanisms:                                                          Global, National and State-level Tools of resistance,  available complaint mechanisms and limitations, using finance info in strengthening struggles, finance-based activism,                          tracking project financing:  

Adv. Ch. Ravi Kumar and Soumya Dutta

 

3:00 pm –             4:15 pm

7.

Next Steps: Planning for Action P. Chennaiah & Balu Gadi 4:15 pm –           5:00 pm

8.

Interaction With Press 5:00 pm –             5:30 pm

*Names of certain speakers are still tentative as they are yet to be contacted / yet to confirm.


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